Storm Over Asia and The Kids Play Russia
Two monuments, of and to the Soviet silent epic. "I must have everything in its true circumstances," said V.I. Pudovkin about his films, the great innovator of action montage asserting himself some sort of documentarian. But "doesn't reality have to be worth saving," suggests Godard slyly in his video-essay The Kids Play Russia, "for us to come to its rescue?" Godard, playing Dostoevsky's Idiot, surrounded by Russian dolls, hawks the Soviet silent cinema that saw truth and fiction as different ways of seeing the same thing. To prove the point, he sends his DP to Russia, has her film everyday life, and edits to synchronize her movements with his, her hotel's maids and train rides with each other so that, somehow, juxtaposed, they play out the outlines of Chekhov or Tolstoy. They could be Chekhov's charactersbut that says as much about them as it does about Chekhov's enduring society.
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